Family Rescued After 9 Days Under Gaza Wreckage

After nine days under the rubble a family emerged relatively well, though skin and bones, but in a daze, not believing they are still alive.

They were finally rescued by the civil defense team in Al Zaitoun neighborhood in east Gaza team after Israeli warplanes pulverized their home, reducing it into rubble and wreckage.

The 10-year-old Ahmed Naim and four members of his family were finally pulled out in an extremely delicate operation after a grueling rescue under heavy Israeli bombardment of the neighborhood.

Although tired and hungry, the family finally made it above ground and saw the light but little Ahmad had to be rushed to hospital because of his emaciated condition. He was quickly wrapped in foil.

The Naim family is one of the lucky ones with many wondering how did they make it alive after nine days of no water or food, trapped between the wreckage in long blacks days and nights.

In this Israeli onslaught that began soon after 7 October on the people of Gaza thousands are missing all over the Strip because of the 24-hour bombardment that amounts to a plausible genocide as termed by the International Court of Justice.

The Gaza authorities estimate the number of those killed and remain under the rubble is thought to be at least 8000 though the figures are deemed to be higher because of the extent of the bombing that amount to three or four times to that of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombs.

Very few of the families and individuals are brought out from under the rubble because of the intensity of the shelling and the fact there are no equipment and excavators in Gaza to remove such huge debris.

Israel restarted its onslaught on Al Zaitoun neighborhood on 19 February when Israeli tanks and troops entered back into the area. This is the second concerted attack the neighborhood is being subjected to.

Previously, fighting here took its toll on Israeli soldiers who had to withdraw and regroup after facing intense battles with Palestinian fighters from Izz Al Din Al Qassam and Saraya Al Quds.

This second military campaign means the Israeli soldiers hadn’t combed the area from the Palestinian resistance as previously thought. They are today having another go in fighting them because they also regrouped through the videos of fighting they are putting out.

As well, the Israeli army is admitting daily to the deaths of their soldiers and comments of the Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. He admits this Gaza battle is the toughest Israel faced since its 75-year existence and is calling for the enlisting of 7000 more soldiers.

The Israeli army was hoping to move to a third stage of the war which it started on Khan Younis last December but it is still bogged down there and meeting stiff resistance in this southern city and its surroundings. Now, the Israeli army states Khan Younis is the real hub for Hamas fighters.

However, the current fighting in eastern part of Al Zaitoun neighborhood means there is a still long way to go and the resistance, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, have the ability to continue fight all over the 365-kilometer Strip now will into the sixth month.

Primitive equipment

After the rescue of the distraught persons, the Palestinian Civil Defense Dept., said in a statement, their effort of rescuing the Naim family was only successful after nine days because of their limited resources and primitive hand equipment.

“After such a long time spent under the soil and rubble, the bodies of the family members were almost skeletons,” Civil Defense officials added.

The video put out by the Civil Defense Unit, shows the rescue team carefully removing the young Ahmad from under the rubble using a rope because of the extent of the wreckage whilst seeking to calm him down at the same time.

Dr Marwan Asmar is an Amman-based writer

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